O'Neal (wrist) departs vs. Mavericks

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
10:04
PM ET
TNT ScreenshotJermaine O'Neal aggravated a left wrist injury while taking a first-half charge in Dallas.
Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal appeared to aggravate a longstanding left wrist injury while absorbing a charge late in the first half of Monday's game against the Dallas Mavericks and later departed the game.

O'Neal winched in pain after slamming hard to the ground after giving up his body on a drive by Dallas' Dominique Jones. Teammates tried to help O'Neal off the floor, but he quickly pulled his left hand back to prevent putting strain on that area as he got pulled to his feet.

O'Neal stayed in the game into the third quarter, but departed early in the frame. The team announced that he had a sprained left wrist and would not return.

O'Neal originally injured his left wrist while taking a charge in a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at the start of the 2010 season. He aggravated it in the postseason against the New York Knicks last season, but elected to not pursue offseason surgery, feeling it might jeopardize his ability to get back on the court this season. O'Neal also appeared to tweak the injury earlier this season, but the aggravation Monday night was enough to prevent him from returning to the game.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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